Kara Visits the Monaco Media Forum: Opening Dinner

Published on November 9, 2007
by Kara Swisher

So, the Monaco Media Forum in Monte-Carlo kicked off last night with a dinner at the famed Hermitage Hotel on the Square Beaumarchais.

It was a fancy gold-leaf setting for the gathering of Silicon Valley and European digital media execs, investors and entrepreneurs, a kickoff to two days of discussion about the state of tech and media in this glam town on the Riviera.

Why am I here? (No, not a boondoggle!)

Actually, to learn more about the most interesting European players, as Walt Mossberg and I consider whether to take our successful D: All Things Digital conference to Dublin next fall.

On my way to the dinner, I ran smack into Facebook bigwig Owen Van Natta and PR head Brandee Barker in front of the conference hotel. They had just flown in, as Van Natta is being interviewed here.

Though they looked horrified to see me as their first greeter, the pair were too exhausted to flee screaming from BoomTown’s usual stalking–which has now gone international–and went off for some much-needed sleep after a busy few weeks of Microsoft-shaking-down and social-ads-launching.

Nonetheless, even without them, Facebook and social networking were Topic A at the dinner among the attendees.

Tomorrow: Barry Diller on why he sliced and diced his Net assets and more.

Until then, here’s some cogent thoughts from four attendees–ubiquitous Israeli entrepreneur Yossi Vardi, very sharp Richard Greenfield of Pali Capital, friendly Netvibes CEO Tariq Krim and charming FON founder Martin Varsavsky–in a video:

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